NEW YORK.- by Apostolis Zoupaniotis
The Cyprus issue was discussed on Wednesday between Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. His eminence told the Turkish Premier he was very pleased to see that ”in the ‘Washington Post’ article the Prime Minister is seeking a solution with the Kofi Annan plan, working very closely with the United States and Greece to see if there is a solution and they want to do it as quickly as possible”.
Speaking after the meeting father Alex Karloutsos said there was a very warm and open discussion during which the Archbishop and Premier Erdogan talked about several issues.
His Eminence offered the condolences in regard to the terrorist bombings that occurred in Turkey in November, noting that he was there at the time between the two bombings and it was very painful for him.
As regards to the reopening of the Theological School of Halki the Prime Minister said he was very concerned and ”they are looking for avenues to find a solution there”.
Noting that the last issue was Cyprus, father Karloutsos said ”his eminence was very pleased to see that in the ‘Washington Post’ article the Prime Minister is seeking a solution with the Kofi Annan plan, working very closely with the United States and Greece to see if there is a solution and they want to do it as quickly as possible”.
”The Archbishop reaffirmed the fact that sharing in what the Prime Minister said about shared values, that we are going to work to bring peace and harmony among peoples and cooperation and that his eminence re-enforced the fact that he too shares with His All Holiness as do many Greek Americans and many Americans of good will that Turkey coming to the EU and how important that is for peace in the region,” Karloutsos said.
According to the Turkish Press, Erdogan complained to Arcbishop Demetrios about the stand of the Church of Cyprus, asking him to interfere. He also said, when asked about Halki, that Greece should also allow “Turkish Universities” to open in Western Thrace.